Our hopes for 2013 ~ part 2
From some WSC contributors
That Scotland's clubs and administrators give the fans a league structure not based on playing the same small number of clubs four times a season. We want a set-up with more promotion and relegation. I'm not holding my breath. Short-sighted business decisions almost always trump sporting considerations in Scottish football and the clubs clearly don't believe that their customers are always right. That's the price you pay for being a loyal customer. Or, in old money, a fan; football is not a business, it's a sport. It's a shame those running the game are ignorant of that.
That fans, especially on Twitter, can find it in themselves to be a little less one-eyed when talking about disciplinary matters involving their club's players, especially involving racism. Defend your club to the hilt, by all means, but don't forget your humanity while you're doing it.
I'd like to see Borussia Dortmund winning the Champions League. They play entertaining attacking football, have what seems a decent bunch of young enthusiastic players, a coach who talks clearly and engagingly about the game and no huge debts or billionaire owners. I've no connection at all with the club but they get my vote.
As someone of a certain age, who used to love a sneaky game of European football teams hangman during double maths, I have a serious pining for the UEFA and Cup Winners Cup. Is it too much to hope that clubs and fans (not just in the UK but pretty much right across Europe) start taking the much-maligned Europa League a little more seriously, especially now the barmy format has been ditched and the tournament has become a little more user-friendly. Ajax v Steaua Bucharest, Borussia Monchengladbach v Lazio: I can't be the only one who feels a rush of retro thrill at those fixtures, can I?
A serious attempt at sensibly-funded progression at Newcastle rather than gambling on spending as little as possible again.
Pundits should be more restrained in their criticism of referees. Their apparent inability to understand how officials make mistakes – the game is played at a furious pace, players are constantly trying to fool them and they don't have access to replays – is either stupid or disingenuous. If they can't curb the vitriol, they should be equally excessive in their criticism of the errors of players and managers.
As a British football supporter living in the US I really don't want to see that aging and cretinous generation of Chelsea players start washing up on the shores of MLS. The sport in this country is slowly getting on its feet. Yet there are enough challenges already without John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole turning up and making everyone feel queasy.
With no tournaments to distract the populous this summer, that the actual football of the FA Women's Super League gets greater coverage than the transfer rumours and non-news of the men's game.
It would be great if the election campaign for the presidency of the Asian Football Confederation is conducted with some transparency and talk about the football issues that need to be discussed. That is a forlorn hope as the politics and behind-the-scenes deals have already started – heaven forbid that anyone would actually communicate with fans on this continent of almost four billion.
As a Portsmouth supporter, my biggest hope is that 2013 finally sees the club free of Balram Chainrai and the Supporters' Trust bid is completed. The court date deciding the fate of the bid has been adjourned until January 15. It would also be nice to see Cardiff City and Southampton back in their proper colours next season and for a team outside the big four or five to win the FA Cup in May.
James De Mellow
I know that wishing for a left-field appointment to the Match of the Day sofa is a bit like hoping that someone surprising will succeed the Queen but this endless cab rank of ex-England cap-magnets and Premier League time-servers has to end. Michael Owen's terrifying recent appearance suggests otherwise. How about hiring someone who can tell me something I don't know, rather than gently describing what is happening on the replay, like a carer might in a rest home? Remember the fear in Gary Lineker's eyes when Danny Baker popped up on the BBC's 2010 World Cup coverage, instantly improving the station's entire tournament with a luminous ten-minute cameo? Never going to happen, is it?
On the subject...